Advances in energy technologies are an increasing driving force in creating different customer and product dynamics. As customers attain new technologies it impacts how they interact with and consume power/energy. Once the exclusive realm of the wholesaler, there is now the evolving potential for consumers to generate, store, trade, monitor and manage energy through the products they choose, even with limited or little interactivity. Two of the most recognised areas are consumer investment into electric vehicles and power storage (the installation of solar generation). Both areas are being endorsed by governments in their drive for reduced carbon footprints.
With regulations worldwide starting to mandate the shift towards emission-less vehicles and rapidly reducing purchase prices, electric vehicles are no longer just the domain of the environmentally conscious and wealthy. This increasing mainstream uptake represents a growing shift in the supply of power with grid consumption at low power cost periods for storage and potentially resupply during peak periods.
These advancements will require a response from energy suppliers to embrace the technology-driven consumer shift in demand. Energy suppliers are increasing their sophistication to engage with expanding energy technologies from IoT devices to building automation to energy management. In turn unlocking new opportunities for customer service, added value and new business revenue streams.
Evolving Income Streams
Technology is underpinning the new competitive energy supply battleground. The rapid evolution in consumer device technologies, power technologies, regulatory expectations and customer engagement expectations towards rich, immediate and customised digital experiences presents disruption in the traditional supply models.
Opportunities for suppliers to tap evolving revenue streams follow relatively traditional strategies but must leverage technological innovation at its core. These include:
- New products with innovative tariff options enabled by smart metering and other energy technologies that empower the customer
- Low cost, high margin per-customer servicing via digital platform as tech-savvy customers interact entirely electronically with both the retailer and their energy devices via common digital interfaces such as the smart phone
- Real time personalised customer experience based on the individual customer’s data set that presents relevant responses to queries as well as attractive product and service options
- Ability to bundle other services such as telco and home automation at a digital platform level or in the opposite direction as energy supply becomes more commoditised
Digital technology is changing markets and evolving income streams. Retailing is moving from the High Street to online. Video entertainment is moving from television to YouTube and Netflix. Advertising revenue is moving towards targeted platforms such as Google and Facebook. Similarly, energy supply is evolving enabled by new energy technologies including the smart meter and leveraged by digital technologies.
Craig Palmer is Hansen's Technical Architect and Sales Engineer and has been with Hansen for over 20 years improving on the scalability of complex billing and other modules. He has been involved in large scale performance deployments for Hansen's utility products in the UK, US and NZ.